Ashley Pezzotti

We’ve Only Just Begun
(Self Release)

Accompanied by excellent musicians, adding depth and color to the bandleader’s whimsical voice, Ashley Pezzotti’s ability to interpret lyrics and engage measured and apropos phrasing make We’ve Only Just Begun a noteworthy debut.

Pezzotti masters the art of storytelling with an aloofness that belies the profundity of the lyrics here, but also beckons us to ponder how with maturity her voice eventually will add a needed storehouse of emotion. After the opening bars of Emmet Cohen’s piano on “I Hope You Find Her,” Pezzotti’s breathy voice sounds like its floating, until it descends to deliver the full import of unrequited love. And whether she’s delivering “September In The Rain”—stacked with runs where listeners might not expect them—or mining her Dominican roots on “Solo Tu,” the narrative of life, love and promise conjure the sensibilities of a bygone era, something particularly impressive for a 23-year-old vocalist.

A sound band, promising voice, and excellent song selection and writing mark Pezzotti as a performer to watch.